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65.4% defensive duels won: What Derby County star would offer to Coventry City if transfer materialises

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Championship side Coventry City are targeting a move for Derby County midfielder Max Bird, according to a report from Football Insider.

The 21-year-old was one of few Rams who were contracted to Pride Park beyond this summer, having been one of the first names on the teamsheet for the East Midlands side during the 2021/22 campaign.

Despite his side’s relegation to League One, he stepped up and showed real maturity beyond his years once again, continuing to establish himself as an important asset in the middle of the park under Wayne Rooney.

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It’s been all change at the club since then though, with a new owner, a new manager with Liam Rosenior taking caretaker charge and a new division to compete in following their demotion to the third tier of English football.

With this, several sides could potentially swoop for his services and try to lure him away from Pride Park despite the young midfielder still having two years left on his current contract.

A fee will be required to lure him away from his current side though and with Coventry City not exactly spending a huge amount in recent years, they could fork out a considerable amount to secure his services, especially if they cash in on one of their own prized assets in Viktor Gyokeres.

And ahead of this potential switch, we take a look at what Bird could offer the Sky Blues if he was to make the move to the Coventry Building Society Arena by analysing his statistics from 2021/22.

Just by looking at these stats, you can tell the 21-year-old is a man that can do it all, making him a real asset to have in the middle of the park and is arguably Derby’s version of what James Garner was at Nottingham Forest last term.

Executing 87.1% of his total passes last term, his ability to retain the ball for his side is extremely underrated and that arguably played a part in making the Rams competitive despite their 21-point deduction.

His passes backwards (95.8% accuracy) may have maximised this percentage – but that just goes to show he’s rarely sloppy on the ball and that can only be a good thing for a side like Coventry who will be eager to retain possession, also completing 80.9% of his dribbles and that has also gone some way in ensuring he hasn’t lost the ball often.

With creative players like Gus Hamer and Callum O’Hare alongside him in midfield, he could be the calm head needed to set the Sky Blues’ more creative midfield players free.

His defensive contributions will be particularly important if he is to be a starter with Hamer not exactly the tallest player – and Bird actually came out on top in an impressive 65.4% of his defensive duels.

That will provide an extra layer of protection to a defence that will need to adapt to being without a previous key asset in Jake Clarke-Salter, who has since moved on to Chelsea.

Also making over three interceptions per game on average, the 21-year-old can read the game well and you would certainly back him to retain that skill throughout the remainder of his playing career.

He may not be the biggest contributor in the final third but considering how reliable he is defensively, conceding less than one foul every two games during 2021/22 with the youngster managing to keep his discipline, what he does going back should be enough for the second-tier side’s board to sanction a move for him.

All statistics are courtesy of wyscout.com


A 22-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts this summer, with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 65.4% defensive duels won: What Derby County star would offer to Coventry City if transfer materialises

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